The Surrey Eagles gave themselves a late Christmas present Sunday night in Chilliwack – a much-needed win.
The Eagles – winners of two of their last three BC Hockey League games since a lopsided loss to Vernon Dec. 17 – showed few signs of a post-holiday hangover against the Mainland Division-leading Chiefs Sunday, winning 3-0.
The win – just the team’s sixth of the season – could be largely credited to starting netminder Christian Short, who stopped all 34 shots he faced, including 12 in the third period as the Chiefs tried in vain to get a goal on the board.
Surrey defenceman Zane Schwartz paced the visiting team’s attack with two goals – both coming in the second period.
The offensive outburst was a rare one for the 20-year-old defensive-minded blue-liner, who had just one goal in 33 games prior to Sunday.
With the Eagles nursing a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play, forward Sam Chatterley extended the margin of victory to three goals with his third goal of the year.
The Eagles still sit at the bottom of the Mainland Division – and the BCHL – with a record of 6-26-0-3, and are 16 points back of the Coquitlam Express, who sit fourth in the division.
On Tuesday night, after Peace Arch News’ holiday press deadlines, the Eagles looked to make it two wins in a row in a rematch against the Chiefs, this time at South Surrey Arena.
It’s been a great week for Christian Short.
In addition to posting a shutout against the Chiefs, the 19-year-old goaltender – a native of Woodbridge, Ont. – also agreed to a scholarship with the NCAA’s Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers.
Short made the announcement himself, via Twitter on Christmas Eve.
The goaltender – who missed more than a month of action due to injury earlier in the season – has been one of the lone bright spots for the Eagles in what has been a difficult season.
With just four wins in 17 games, Short’s win-loss record isn’t a good indicator of the season he’s had. He’s managed a 4.25 goals-against average and a save-percentage of .898 despite the Eagles being the worst defensive team in the BCHL. Surrey’s goal differential is minus 101 – more than double the second-worst team in the league in that department, the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
As well, Short has faced the 10th most shots against among BCHL goaltenders, despite not playing from late October until mid-December.
At the time of his injury, he was far and away the league leader in shots faced.